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Mellanox Stakes 10-Gig Claim

InfiniBand supplier Mellanox Technologies Ltd. says a new chip can do more for server and storage OEMs than anything Ethernet has to offer.

The vendor this week will announce the InfiniHost III Lx Host Channel Adapter costs blade server and motherboard manufacturers about $69 in volume, compared with hundreds of dollars for comparable Ethernet server chips. According to Mellanox's director of product marketing, Thad Omura, the dime-sized, single-port InfiniBand chip uses about two watts of power but supports remote direct memory access (RDMA) along with InfiniBand to link clustered servers.

Along with the new chip, Mellanox is offering a credit-card-sized 10-Gbit/s InfiniBand adapter for PCI Express that can slot into a server. Pricing will be "less than $200" in OEM volumes, Omura says.

Mellanox claims several OEMs, including Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), Engenio Information Technologies Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are already using Mellanox chips in 10-Gbit/s InfiniBand interfaces.

Engenio has also been rumored to be working on adding an InfiniBand interface to one of its storage arrays, which would be the world's first "native" InfiniBand link. Omura claims to know nothing of this, however. A spokesperson for Engenio says the company has no product announcement to make at this time.

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